Irish Newspaper Archive

  • Funeral of Terence Bellew McManus 10 November 1861

    Terrence Bellew

    10 November 1861 Terence Bellew McManus
    The funeral of Terence Bellew McManus in Dublin on 10 November 1861, when over 100,000 people followed the funeral cortege to Glasnevin proved to be a defining moment in the Fenian movement copper fasting support for the fledgling organisation.

    Born in county Fermanagh in 1811 Terence Bellew MacManus, a member of the Repeal party and the Young Irelanders, took part in the ill-fated 1848 uprising in Ballingarry, county Tipperary. He was sentenced to death for his part in the Rising, but this was later commuted to transportation for life. Sent to Van Diemens Land, Tasmania, McManus escaped two years later and made his way to America, where he remained in San Francisco for the remainder of his life.
    When he died in January 1861 the Fenian Brotherhood in San Francisco seized the moment and decided that McManus should be repatriated to Ireland and plans were put in place for his remains to be brought to Glasnevin cemetery for burial. It was a major coup for the Fenians and allowed them to drum up support all across the USA, Britain and Ireland as the funeral plans were put in place. Despite intense opposition from the Catholic Church in Ireland, the funeral provided the Fenian movement with its first public spectacle.
    Archbishop Paul Cullen refused to allow the remains to lie in state in any church in his diocese, except for the funeral mass, so the ceremony took place from the Mechanics Institute on Abbey Street Lower. Passing through the streets of Dublin, thousands of Fenians in uniform paraded past the sites associated with Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone and Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Described as the ‘greatest spectacle’ ever witnessed in Dublin the funeral had the effect of reawakening nationalist sentiment in Ireland which was said to have been dormant following the devastation of the Great Famine.

    Source newspaper:

    Download below : Connaught Telegraph 13.November.1861 & Kerry Star 16.November.1861:

    Connaught Ranger 13                                                             Connaught Ranger 13


    #history #archives #republican #Bellew #Irish

  • Society of United Irishmen formed in Dublin 09 November 1791

    United Irishmen formed 09.November.1791

    On the 9 November 1791 the Society of United Irishmen was formed in Dublin, having met the previous month in Belfast. Spurred on by Theobold Wolfe Tone’s pamphlet titled, An Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland, these young radicals proposed three resolutions, which were to guide the new movement forward and which left a lasting impression on generations of Irish men and women.

    Firstly, that there existed the need for ‘a cordial union among all the people of Ireland’; secondly that a complete and radical reform of the representation of the people in Parliament was needed and, thirdly, that this reform should include ‘Irishmen of every religious persuasion’. The new organisation immediately tried to bring about change and Tone through his work as secretary of the Catholic Committee, organised a Catholic Convention in Dublin in 1792.

    Although a Catholic Relief Act  was passed in 1793, which rescinded some of the harsh Penal Laws, the United Irishmen soon turned their attention to France where they were heavily influenced by the French revolutionary ideals of ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’.

    When the United Irishmen were proclaimed a secret society and members arrested, Tone made for America, and then France but made known his objectives for Irish Independence and that he wished:

    To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter – these were my means’

    The 1798 rebellion would soon follow and although achieving initial success was brutally suppressed, thereby ending the ideals of the United Irishmen in uniting the people of Ireland.

     Source newspaper:

    Download: Belfast Newsletter, 16 December 1791;

    Download: Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, Friday, September 14, 1792

    #UnitedIrishmen #history #irish #WolfeTone

  • Mary Robinson elected 08.November.1990

    Mary Robinson elected president of Ireland

    8 November.1990 Mary Robinson elected of Ireland
    Twenty-nine years ago today the Republic of Ireland elected its first female President when Mary Robinson was declared the winner of the presidential election. Robinson, who had won the hearts of people of all ages and political persuasions claimed that it was a ‘great day for the women of Ireland, a great, great day’.
    The election saw veteran Fianna Fail TD Brian Lenihan; SDLP politician, Austin Currie and Robinson, a Senator (and supported by the Labour Party and the Workers’ Party) go head to head.

    However, the election was not without controversy. During the campaign, it emerged that Lenihan had applied pressure on former President Patrick Hillery during an earlier political crisis and his candidacy was in jeopardy. Initially denying this, Lenihan was forced to backtrack on ‘mature recollection’ when a tape of him admitting it was leaked. In the end, the so-called ‘Rainbow’ coalition delivered a massive personal vote for Robinson.
    In a specially written piece for the Sunday Independent, the president-elect outlined what for her was a ‘proud challenge’ to represent the people of Ireland as their president. Throughout the campaign, Robinson spoke about her great interest in the plight of Irish emigrants, of the Irish abroad and about representing Ireland abroad. Robinson was inaugurated as the seventh President of Ireland on 3 December 1990.
    Robinson proved a popular choice as President and during her term in office, she oversaw the signing into law two very important bills for which she had long advocated, those relating to the sale of the availability of contraceptives and the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
    Her presidency would also help portray the role of the president in a new light to the people of Ireland and elsewhere. In particular, her role and in interest in visiting countries and regions afflicted by Famine and disease led to her subsequent appointment as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    Source newspaper: Sunday Independent, 11 November 1990.

    How to the race was won: Download Sunday Independent 08.November.1990

    My Proud Challenge: Download Sunday Independent 08.Nov.1990

  • Dr Tiede Herrema freed 7 November 1975

    He's FREE

    7 November  1975 Dr  Tiede Herrema freed

    On 7 November 1975 the story which had gripped the nation for over thirty days came to a dramatic, if somewhat anti-climatic conclusion when the ‘Siege of Monasterevin’ ended and the Dutch businessman Dr Tiede Herrema was freed by his two IRA captors. Chief executive of the Ferenka steel company in Limerick which employed 1,200 people, Herrema had been kidnapped on 3 October at a bogus checkpoint set up by republicans Eddie Gallagher and Marian Coyle. The kidnappers, phoning the Dutch Embassy in Dublin, demanded a cash ransom and the release of three republican prisoners. If this was not done within 48 hours they threatened to shoot  Herrema.

    Taoiseach Liam Cosgrove refused to pay the ransom fearing that it would lead to the exit of foreign business investment and also spark copycat kidnappings. It was the start of a 36 day ordeal for Herrema and led to the biggest manhunt in the history of the Irish state. The Gardai operation alone, which included 4,000 officers and the army, was said to have cost the state more than £3 million.

    Finally, just over two weeks later the kidnappers were tracked to a council estate in the quiet village of Monasterevin, County Kildare. Gardai and Army surrounded the house and made several attempts to enter the house but Coyle and Gallagher repelled them firing wildly as they retreated upstairs with Herrema.

    Holed up in the upstairs box room for over four days, Gallagher, who had become violently ill, and Coyle decided to surrender and so ended the siege at ‘1014 St Evin’s Park’. Marian Coyle was later sentenced to 15 years, of which she served, while Gallagher served 14 years of his 20-year sentence.

    For many in the Republic of Ireland, it brought the reality of the troubles closer to home.

    Download the Irish Independent  here 7 November 1975 Dr Tiede Herrema freed

    Source newspaper: / Irish Independent, 8 November 19757 November 1975 Dr Tiede Herrema freed

  • Gaelic League bans ‘Jazz’ - 6 November 1929

    Gaelic League bans ‘Jazz’ 6 November 1929

    Gaelic League bans Jazz
    Readers of the Irish Newspaper Archive might find some of the reports from Ireland ninety years ago this month somewhat peculiar, especially those regarding a ban implemented by the Gaelic League, a cultural organisation which promoted the Irish language, against all forms of ‘Jazz’ music. Taken by the executive of the Gaelic League, it was an issue, which had festered for many months prior to this and indeed would for some time afterwards.

    Jazz music it was claimed had taken hold in Ireland in the wake of the First World War and had spread from Dublin to the music halls which sprung up in towns and villages across the country. Detractors claimed that jazz music and dancing was just a ‘passing phase’ and that it was the ‘natural reaction’ to the post-war phase that Ireland found itself in.
    All branches of the Gaelic League were sent a warning as to their conduct going forward with particular regard to attending or promoting jazz. The idea was to follow the GAA’s bans on the playing of foreign games, something which had proved popular across the country. While the debate had begun earlier in 1929 in Wexford and other centres, it was in Leitrim that the most vocal opponents of jazz were to found. Here the parish priest of Cloone, Fr Conferey openly criticised jazz from the pulpit and told the people that they should sing Irish songs only. In nearby Mohill it was reported that 3,000 people demanded that jazz be banned and they carried banners with slogans such as ‘Down with Jazz’ and ‘Out with paganism’.

    Ultimately, the ban sparked outrage across the country but it spoke volumes about post-independent Ireland and attitudes towards culture and pastimes, which were not Irish.

    Source newspaper: Sunday Independent, 10 November 1929

    #jazz #GaelicLeague #GAA

  • 3 November 1854 The Catholic University Opened (now UCD) by Cardinal


    Catholic University

    The Catholic University Opens 03.November.1854 ( UCD )

    In October 2019 Pope Francis paid special tribute to the newly canonized St. John Henry Newman. In Ireland the canonization was timely as November marks the 165th anniversary of the opening of the Catholic University with Newman as its first rector and principal architect. The opening of a Catholic University had long been debated and came in the wake of the Great Famine and of the Maynooth Grant controversy of 1845. Much of the debate stemmed from the publication of Newman’s 1852, The Idea of a University, which was widely circulated throughout Ireland and elsewhere.

    In November 1854 Irish national and provincial newspaper proudly announced that the Catholic University would soon open and provide an education in a wide array of studies including the classics, maths and modern language classes. On Friday, 3rd November 1854 the Catholic University of Ireland opened its doors at 86 St Stephen's Green. One newspaper reported that ‘there was no pomp and circumstance’. Instead ‘quietly and peacefully’ the institution commenced.

    The roll call on that morning was small with only twenty students enrolled but which included Daniel O'Connell, grandson of the Liberator, and the sons and grandsons of British and European peers. The official opening took place some days later on 9 November with Newman presiding. The following year Newman added the Catholic University Medical School, which over time came to symbolise the emergence of Catholic Ireland. By the end of the century it had become the largest medical school in the country and would produce a number of excellent and well known doctors.

    A theologian, poet, Catholic priest and cardinal, Newman was born in 1801 and before his conversion to Catholicism was an Oxford academic, Anglican preacher, and public intellectual. During his term as rector of the Catholic University he formed the basis for one of the great success stories in Irish education and of course the precursor to the modern UCD.

    Source newspaper: / Cork Examiner 8 Nov 1854 download




  • Murder of Major Denis Mahon 02.November.1847

    Murder Major Mahon

    Murder of Major Denis Mahon

    On 2 November 1847, during ‘Black 47’, the worst year of the Great Famine the murder of Major Denis Mahon of Strokestown Park House in county Roscommon was something of an international cause celebre. The murder of Major Denis Mahon was debated as far away as the British House of Commons and both Queen Victoria and Pope Pius IX were said to have been horrific by the incident. It was also the first murder of a landlord during the Famine and opened a religious debate which had ramifications further afield.

    Owner of an 11,000 acres estate in county Roscommon which was both overpopulated and heavily in debt when the Famine struck, in the early spring of 1847 Mahon initiated a scheme of assisted emigration of almost 1,500 tenants. This group of emigrants were accompanied to Liverpool by the estate bailiff, John Robinson to ensure that none would return to Roscommon. Almost a quarter of these would die enroute to Canada but when news filtered back to Strokestown that the number was far higher a plot was arranged to have him assassinated.

    On 2 November, shortly before six o'clock, having attended a meeting of the Roscommon board of guardians where he had sought an extension of relief for the inhabitants of Strokestown, Mahon was ambushed and murdered. Accompanied by Terence Shanley, Medical Doctor at Strokestown, he was shot in the chest and died instantly. Across Roscommon the news instantly spread and was widely celebrated: ‘within one hour of the foul deed being perpetrated the several hills were lighted by bonfires in every direction’.

    It was later claimed that  the day before the murder, the local Parish priest, Fr McDermott claimed at Sunday mass that Mahon was ‘Worse than Cromwell and yet he lives’. It was a claim which he staunchly denied. In 1848 two men were hanged for the murder but it was widely believed that the guilty parties were never apprehended.

     Download article  Source Newspaper: Irish Newspaper Archives -  Freeman’s Journal, 4 Nov 1847; Freeman’s Journal, 29 April 1848. page 2 

  • Formation of the GAA - 01st.November.1884

    Michael Cusack Formation of GAA 01.November.1884
    On 1 November 1884, a small and somewhat innocuous meeting took place in Thurles, County Tipperary attended only by a handful of men. However, from these humble beginnings would result the largest sporting organisation in Ireland today. Played in every village and town in the country, the formation of the Gaelic Athletic Association can be traced to this ‘meeting of athletes and friends of athletes’ at Miss Hayes’ Commercial Hotel, Thurles. Gathered there this small group of men, led by Maurice Davin and Michael Cusack, were determined to provide ‘amusements’ for ‘Irish people during their leisure hours’ and form an organisation for the cultivation of our national pastimes which by this time were said to have been ‘dead and buried’ and ‘in several localities to be entirely forgotten’.
    This initial meeting was poorly attended when several of the important athletic clubs in the south of Ireland did not send representatives. Much of the early worries were about how they would finance the movement but these considerations were soon side-lined when the delegates present spoke of their enthusiasm for such an organisation. One delegate queried ‘why should we not have athletic festivals like other people- I mean on a national scale’, while another complained that Irish affairs were constantly dictated to by Englishmen. For the record Other founding members present were John Wyse-Power, John McKay, J.K. Bracken, Joseph O’Ryan and Thomas St George McCarthy. By the end of the decade, the GAA had sprung to life and would lead the great cultural reawakening, which would define the next fifty years of Irish society.
    Today, the GAA has over 2,200 clubs in all thirty-two counties of Ireland and has close to 500,000 members worldwide. It is part of the Irish consciousness and plays an influential role in Irish society that extends far beyond the basic aim of promoting the playing of Gaelic games.

    #GAA, #History, #Ireland

    Source Newspaper: - Irish Examiner, 3 November 1884
    Photo By Unknown - NUI Galway Digital Collections, Public Domain,

  • Irish Radical & Political Archives

    Radical Newspaper Archives

    The Radical Irish Newspaper Archive
    In the spring of 1921, with the Irish War of Independence raging on many fronts, Patrick J. Little (1884-1963) was sent by Eamon de Valera and the provisional government on a diplomatic mission to South Africa.

    To many people Little’s role in the War of Independence up until this point had been relatively unknown, although behind the scenes through his work as a newspaper editor he had played an important role in the propaganda war. During the course of six weeks in 1921 Little travelled throughout the vast South African terrain relaying the message of the provisional government, speaking at no less than thirty-six locations. In the university town of Stellenbosch he was given a great welcome where all of the student body quit their classes. This of course reflected the fact that the students were largely Afrikaner nationalist in character. The success of Little’s diplomatic mission was quickly evident forcing the South African premier, Jan Christian Smuts to adopt the ‘Irish question’ for domestic and international diplomacy concerns.
    The career and work of Patrick Little as a newspaper editor is just one such which is highlighted in a new collection of Irish history which has just been made accessible to the public. The Radical Newspaper Archive is an extraordinary collection of over 115 Irish radical and political newspapers, journals, pamphlets and bulletins. Fully searchable and consisting of more than 11,000 editions with a total page count of 102,755 these newspapers, according to Dr Ciarán Reilly of Maynooth University, ‘hold the key to understanding Ireland in the turbulent decades of the early twentieth century’. Spanning one of the most important periods in Irish history, from the Home Rule debates of the 1880s to Ireland on the eve of the Second World War, these somewhat obscure titles provide an insight into a myriad of opinions on Irish life. Covering events such as Home Rule, the redistribution of land, the 1913 Lock Out, the 1916 Rising and its aftermath, the War of Independence, the fractious Civil War, the rise of Fascism in Ireland and the Economic War of the 1930s to name but a few, The Radical Newspaper Archive sheds important new light on all of these critical moments.
    Despite the military clamp down on radical and subversive newspapers after the 1916 Rising, the propaganda they provided played a major role before, during and after the revolutionary period. Many of these newspapers are unavailable elsewhere, and this is the first time that they have been made available in one place, offering researchers and the general public a unique and accessible insight into this period of Irish history. From newspapers such as the short An Saogal Gaedealac, suppressed by Military Authority in 1917, to the voice of rural Ireland The Hammer and the Plough, the newspaper of the Workers Party of Ireland & Working Farmers Party, to The Irish Peasant published in Navan, county Meath and heavily influenced by the local implication of the introduction of the Wyndham Land Act of 1903, every facet of Irish life is represented in this collection. In the main, the newspapers in the Radical Newspaper Archive differ from other publications available for this period in that their focus was on opinion and editorials, rather than reporting news. Here we see the work of important editors such as the aforementioned Little, P.S. O’Hegarty (Irish Freedom), one of the first historians of the revolutionary period and James Upton (Honesty). For other editors the premise and objective of many of these titles was education. Newspapers such as Young Ireland: Eire Og (1917) and The Hibernian (1915-16), the newspaper of the fraternal organistantion – the Ancient Order of Hibernians- regularly featured stories of Irish history as a means of educating younger members of its organisation. An interesting feature of the newspapers in the collection is the advertisements that they carried, in particular titles such as Sinn Fein Daily (1909-10) which highlight the support that existed in the years prior to the 1916 Rising. It was for this reason that these newspapers were monitored closely by Dublin Castle officials who examined the content and readership.

    The unrest which spread across Ireland in the first three decades of the twentieth century in the form of strikes and labour disputes indicated that if some had been left behind in previous times, for example following the Land Acts, they would not be so in the coming revolution. Titles such as The Torch – the organ of the Kilkenny Workers Council reflect these feelings, while the prelude to unrest in Dublin in 1913, for example, can be traced in titles such as The Trade and Labour Journal: the official organ of the workers of the city and county of Dublin, which survives for 1909. The upsurge in labour movements in Ireland in the wake of Russian Revolution of 1917 is also evident in the collection highlighting that the union voice, representing and fighting for workers’ rights was heavily influenced by events elsewhere. This access to the voice of the marginalised and the left is a key feature of The Radical Newspaper Archive.
    The addition of a number of Irish language newspapers, including An Claidheamh Soluis, represents another and important facet of the cultural reawakening, which shaped the revolutionary period. The collection also includes the voice of the Irish diaspora including Irish-American papers, for example, The Harp (first published in 1910) and The Irish Exile which embraced the voice of the Irish in Britain. Local and provincial newspapers are also to be found in the collection through the pages of The Dalcassion (Clare) and The Bottom Dog (Limerick), while a number are remarkable for their longevity such as Notes from Ireland which ran from 1886 to 1918. Researchers and others will be interested in the legacy of the Irish War of Independence and the subsequent Civil War and the pages of newspapers such as The Blueshirt illuminate on this. In the battle to win the hearts and minds of a fractured society, by the late 1920s other newspapers such as The Star (1929-30) were dedicated to the political and economic improvement of the country. Conversely, newspapers such as Dublin News (1922-1929) continuously outlined violence and intimidation against republicans in Dublin. All of these fascinating publications provide hidden histories of Ireland during this transformative period and it is hoped that the archive will allow for further examination. If you want to understand Ireland during this period and the various political opinions which formed it, then these newspapers are a necessity. According to Dr Reilly ‘The Radical Newspaper Archive provides access to those who influenced a whole generation and today provide us with an understanding the development, transition of power and early struggles of independent Ireland’.
    Ends #history #irish #politics

  • Irish schools continued success with Irish Newspaper Archives via Scoilnet

    Scoilnet Rapid Archives Access

    Nationwide school access to Irish Newspaper Archives continues to gather pace.

    Over the past two years, Irish Newspaper Archives has worked closely with the PDST to make the archives accessible to Irish schools through the Scoilnet portal. Scoilnet is the Department of Education and Skills (DES) official portal for Irish education, developed as a support for teachers. Through the Scoilnet portal teachers and students alike have unlimited access to the largest database of Irish newspaper content in the World.

    The schools' access programme was initially launched as a pilot scheme in 2017. During the initial 10 months of the scheme, the archive’s Counter Compliant analytic tool reported that, nationally, schools viewed over 30,000 records. With a successful pilot, the archives were opened up through Scoilnet for 2018.

    To generate awareness of the availability of the archives to schools, the PDST created a series of tasks and projects based on newspaper research. These tasks, combined with a marketing campaign to generate awareness of the archives, helped schools to engage with the archives.

    2018 saw the usage climb from 30,000 to 290,985 views per record (page views). Through the Irish Newspaper Archive gateway, students are learning about historical figures such as Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Eamon De Valera and many more.

    Irish Newspaper Archives is proud to open our nation’s past to our country’s future leaders.

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